Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Black Bean Paste

March 7th, 2017 No Comments

  Black Bean paste is a Chinese condiment used in many a dish (hoisin sauce, stir fries, Asian BBQ, noodles), and a secret ingredient of those from Team Umami.  It’s bold and tangy and can bump the flavor factor of your sauces manyfold. It can be really difficult to tell if Chinese condiments are gluten free, especially if there is the possibility of soy sauce (containing wheat) and it certainly doesn’t help if the ingredient list seems vague or incomplete.  I’ve been searching for GF

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Favorites February 2017

February 28th, 2017 3 Comments

  Can you name me another sport where a major race is cancelled yet thousands of people still show up?   The 2017 American Birkebiener Ski Marathon, largest cross country ski race in North America and part of the reason we trek northward for the season, was cancelled this year due to lack of snow.  Around 10,000 people annually participate in the numerous Birkie races and events, the majority of them venturing the long haul of 50-55 kilometers through the rolling

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Cinnamon

January 31st, 2017 5 Comments

photo by Coleen Sullins A visit from a flying squirrel in the evening, he waited for the cover of darkness to check out our supplies and scampered up our skis when we arrived after the sauna.  He apparently likes cheese.     A visit from the daily groomer in the morning–it was too warm to set tracks but they would drag the skate lanes to break up the ice.  I don’t know if he likes cheese.     photo by

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Flax Seed Crisps

January 17th, 2017 3 Comments

  Completely inspired by Magnus Nilsson of Fäviken in Sweden, these crisps are simple with a most intriguing look.  In his cookbook Fäviken, Magnus explains that he started with thicker versions using more types of seeds, then evolved the crisp towards thinner version using only flax.  His cookbook photo shows the delicate see-through results.  Since I was making these as a traveling snack I brought it back to a thicker version so they would be more sturdy and road-worthy.   “Road-worthy”??  Yes!  We are once again pointing our

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Favorites December 2016

December 27th, 2016 No Comments

  Tis the season of magical windows…       It’s been quite a year, full of many blessings and challenges.  We said farewell to what seemed like an inordinate number of our artists in the past twelve months–some of my main influences like David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen, then so many other larger-than-lifers—Leon Russell, Merle Haggard, George Michael, Maurice White (Earth Wind & Fire), and John Berry (Beastie Boys), Gene Wilder, Gwen Ifill, Morley Safer, Mohammad Ali, Fidel Castro, Zsa Zsa, Alan Rickman,

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Gluten Free Ladyfingers

November 15th, 2016 2 Comments

  “One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it.” . -Clarissa Pinkola Estes     A few weeks ago we went to the Barebones production in Minneapolis, and though I kept thinking others would love to see some of the amazing imagery and creatures from the night

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Favorites October 2016

October 25th, 2016 3 Comments

  Last spring we visited Mike’s Meat Market in Eau Claire, Wisconsin for some of their legendary bacon and spent time admiring their mighty cleaver collection.  Maybe a bit gruesome if you’re not a chef…but you have to admit they tell a story of how we eat (apologies to the vegetarians).  The knives were high on the walls so it was hard to get a great photo, but you get the idea.     These are from the days when all blades were

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Chicken Paprikash

October 11th, 2016 2 Comments

  Once in a while during my occasional extrovert phases I would love my hair to be this color of deep, rich, delicious, Carmine red.  I looked up the many shades of red to find the best name for this particular color of paprika and Carmine from the aluminium salt of carminic acid was the closest match.  This photo is of the sauce before the sour cream is added which gives it a lighter hue, then it becomes more like a Carnelian Red or Venetian Red.   You can also dye eggs

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An Estonian Dinner

September 20th, 2016 6 Comments

  Every time my friend Dennis Larson hosts his Symra evening and dinner he chooses a different Scandinavian country or culture.  Other years have highlighted Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, the Sámi, the Vikings, the Faroe Islands and many more.  This year spilled into the northern Baltic country of Estonia with its strong Finnish, Swedish and Russian influences, and the fun began as we researched numerous foods and recipes.  He’s good at stretching my culinary boundaries.   The dinner was also on a full moon lunar eclipse

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Cauliflower Tabouli

September 6th, 2016 No Comments

  We recently spent a number of days at the Solarium Hostel in Ft. Collins, Colorado.  A tropical indoor commons, large shared kitchen, yoga in the basement, a stream and bike path in their back yard…this was a great place to hang out and meet people from around the world while making your breakfast before touring the breweries, eating at the pay-what-you-can FoCo Cafe, or heading to the mountains.  They even have adorable bikes you can rent for touring this

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Favorites August 2016

August 30th, 2016 4 Comments

    A few of my father’s photos from when he was learning the craft in the 1980’s.   The second picture is one of my favorites.  He was practicing moving the camera to match the subject so the background would be blurred…and it’s one great shot.  Yarrow and my sister are the two willing models. Part of our old farmhouse basement was modified into a darkroom for his long-lived hobby, it was a cool space for him to hide

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Tulsi (Holy Basil)

August 16th, 2016 No Comments

  Tulsi, India’s Queen of Herbs, revered for centuries as a sacred plant and used both medicinally and in worship, is thriving right here in my garden.  Native to India it is traditionally grown in pots in every Indian home and I am just beginning to understand the devotion.  Tulsi is not known as the ‘elixir of life’ for naught.   Western medicine is finally studying this amazing herb for its health-promoting properties.  It contains eugenol (also in cloves), a compound

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Quick-Pickled Vegetable Salad and Brining Vegetables

August 9th, 2016 No Comments

  These little veggies were served at the Seed Savers Conference dinner and have now been in my refrigerator for over two weeks….and they still look and taste fantastic!  Once again I set myself up for the situation where I didn’t know exactly what I would be making (I kept the menu rather vague listing a ‘Carrot Vegetable Salad with Toasted Cumin”) but I knew it would involve lots of local vegetables and a light vinegar dressing, so I started

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In the Other Kind of Time

August 3rd, 2016 6 Comments

  Friends!   It’s August and many people in our neck of the woods are on their vacation trips before school begins.  Instead of recipes this week I say we take this time to enjoy some pictures and a poem recently shared with me by a friend.   Have fresh sweet corn and sliced tomatoes for supper, and take it easy.       These are photos of wood-fired pottery made by my cousin-by-marriage Jordan Taylor and taken when we visited family in northeastern Pennsylvania

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Kale Salad with Honeyed Shallots and Plums

July 26th, 2016 No Comments

  Another salad from Pascale Beale who I had the pleasure of meeting and experiencing her cooking class last fall.  This seemed like a good salad for the season as plums are beginning to roll in and at least some greens are holding their own.  Plums are one of my favorite fruits—their balance of toothsome tartness make them perfect for both sweet and savory moments.     From her beautiful book…   I used organic black plums in this version

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Carolina Gold Rice Grits Cakes

July 19th, 2016 No Comments

  All rice is not equal.   I have had creamy rice before, but this was another branch in the tree of amazing grains. People from Anson Mills in South Carolina were at the Seed Savers Exchange Annual Conference last weekend, and beforehand they offered to mail me their Carolina Gold Rice Grits if I would use it in the conference’s Saturday evening meal.  They sent ‘middlins’, or rice grits, which cook up in a similar manner to a creamy arborio rice.

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Broccomole

July 13th, 2016 2 Comments

  Last weekend we ventured up to the old haunts of Minneapolis to help my dear friend Julie JAO with an evening of speed painting performance in her studio.  Some of you may have seen her speed painting the signature stick figures but now she’s moved onto Celtic creatures….not exactly a simple choice for painting with abandon. These are a few from the evening, soon I can give you links to the live videos so you can watch them being born

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Favorites June 2016

June 28th, 2016 No Comments

  Ah, late June—the season of the Willow Weavers! This year’s Willow Gathering focused on traditional basket work and hosted instructors Joe Hogan from Ireland, Katherine Lewis from Washington, Karen Tembreull from Michigan and Joanna Schanz from Iowa.  They led their participants through in-depth projects that left them famished for their lunches.  It’s amazing how much energy is required for this kind of concentration.      Joe brought them though the process of building a traditional lobster basket trap; they go

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Sankt Hans Aften

June 21st, 2016 6 Comments

  Sankt Hans Aften St. John’s Eve, Midsummer, Summer Solstice (“sun stands still”)….whatever the name, it’s a good celebration: good food, friends, and a bonfire on a short summer’s night.   My friend Dennis Larson is an avid celebrator of this Danish version of a midsummer festival.  He invites the world to his yard to feast, fest and enjoy one another’s company as we’re visited by the slimmest night of the year and the hope is that all revelers will

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Avocado Smoothie

June 14th, 2016 No Comments

    Avocados are nearly a perfect food.  They’re creamy, tasty, filled with nutrients and healthy fats, rich in omega-3’s, and they go with so many different kinds of dishes both sweet and savory.  Lately we’ve been eating them with a spoon out of the shell-like skin with no seasonings, or maybe a little lime and salt, and enjoying how filling and satisfying they are by themselves.   You can add avocados to almost any smoothie, the green fruit makes

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